August 31, 1993 – Tuesday – 9:18 p.m.

Things are okay, I guess.

Saturday night was great spiritually; we prayed so hard.  But it was hard emotionally;  Ryan and I only looked at each other once.

I didn’t ask her out on Saturday; I was just trying to help her out.

Things were tense Sunday morning too.  But we got over it and the youth group went to Mr. Gatti’s after church.  We had a great time.  Everything is back to normal.

Sunday night Marcus asked me what I would do if Ryan came up to me and said, “Would you go with me?”

I told him, “I would say no.”

Then I thought about it and I did tell the truth.  I would say no.  I just want to be her friend but I’m still trying to get the beautiful girl out of my mind.

Speaking of beautiful girls, I got a letter from Emily again the other day.  She gave me her phone number and said she wanted to get to know me a lot more and if she ever gets a car, she said she is going to come visit me.

I’ve tried to call her four times, but she hasn’t been home any of those times.

School has been pretty good the past two days.  I about fell asleep in World Geography this morning.

I did have to work Friday, but I got off work so I could go to Amy’s Birthday party.  Mike is going with me.

I get a haircut tomorrow.  And September is beginning again.  Then October will be here.  Then November 14th.  And My Book of Days will have covered one year of my life.

I used to think that a year was a long time.

I was wrong.

I now know a year is a very short amount of time.  Too short.

Where suddenly have I gone?

August 28, 1993 – Saturday – 1:21 p.m.

Much is on my mind.

We arrived on time for singing practice and Christi was the only one there, besides the band of course.

Afterwards, Marcus said he was going to go to Scott’s so I decided to go on home.  I had planned on going directly home, nowhere else, but then I saw Kevin’s McDonald’s shirt in the car.  I was supposed to take it back yesterday, but the battery was dead.  So, I went to take it back, but the office was closed.  As I was leaving, getting ready to go back home, I heard a voice in my head.  It was Sherry’s voice.

I remember something she said to me about two weeks ago, “Ever since you broke up with Veronica, you never come see us anymore.”

So, I thought I had enough time to stop by and give them a visit.

They were all eating grits in their underwear and nightgowns.  We talked some and I told some jokes.  Then I remembered that Amy and I were supposed to practice a skit for Children’s Church.  So, I gave her a call from Veronica’s house to see what was up.

Ryan answered.

“Hi Ryan, this is Jacob.”

“Hey!”

“Can I talk to Amy?”

“Sure, but hold on, can I ask you a question?”

“Okay.”

“Do we have skit practice today?” she asked.

Then I went onto explain to her why we didn’t and I then asked her why she wasn’t at the church this morning.  She told me she went to bed late last night and was too tired.

Now earlier this morning, I told Christi about Les Miserables coming to Raleigh.  She said she already knew and that her drama class was going.

Ryan is in that same group, so I asked her if she was going.  She said she didn’t know about it.  I said I was going with Nana and her friend, and that Henry said I could drive.  She said she would love to go, but she didn’t have the money.

Okay, so now I was in a situation.  I don’t have enough money to pay for two tickets, but I figured I could get it.  I knew that if I offered to pay her way that she wouldn’t accept, because that’s just who she is.

Despite this knowledge, I told her I would buy her a ticket.

She said, “No Jacob, you’re not doing that…” before I even finished my sentence.

“Well, you said you wanted to go.”

“I’m not going if you buy me a ticket.”

“I guess I won’t buy you one then.”

“I’ll try to get the money.” She said.

“Alright.  We’ll see.”

She asked the prices again and then we said goodbye.

Man oh man oh man.

I’m home now and I’m tired.

August 27, 1993 – Friday – 10:05 p.m.

Let’s see… Yesterday, I went to school of course, and well, that was about it.  Marcus was over here and we talked some.  The day ended and I wrote some before I went to bed.

Today, I drove to school because I had to have the car to go to work.  I left the lights on and the battery died.  Someone jumped me off and I went home where it died again.  So Mike’s Dad came over and jumped me off as well.  Work was usual.

Les Miserables is coming in November, not October.  It’s the 16th-21st and tickets are either $25.50, $31.50, $37.50, or $41.50.

Nana and I are definitely going and I know Christi would love to go, but she doesn’t know about it yet.  If Ryan goes, we’ll just be going as friends.  It’s expensive, but hopefully I’ll be able to drive.

The weekend will probably be like all the others have.  Anne is gone.  Kevin is gone.  Danny is gone.  Brandon has been gone.  Jason is gone.

And I’m here for another year.

Next weekend, I think I’m going to a wedding with Scott.  His sister is getting married; I’m looking forward to it.

Tonight at work, making fries distracted me a little from thinking about Ryan.  I think about her constantly now.  She’s always in my mind.  Sometimes I have to stop and get my senses together and realize where I am.  It’s like my body and my brain is dependent on thinking about her in order to stay alive.

I don’t know what’s going to happen.

Back in October of last year, I remember praying about my future spouse God has for me.  He told me this:

The person I have chosen for you is the person whom you’ll think of more than you think of yourself, and no matter how hard you try, you won’t be able to get her out of your mind.-

Does this mean I’ve found her?

August 25, 1993 – Wednesday – 8:17 p.m.

I skimmed through Eagle’s Path tonight.  I have now realized how terrible it is.  I thought it was good while writing it, but I’ve grown in my skills and I should start over.

Nana told me Les Miserables is coming to Raleigh in October.  I’m thinking about asking Ryan if she would like to see it with me.  I don’t know.  We’ll see.

Tonight was Anne and Jason’s last night.  I probably won’t see them again until Christmas, if even then.  They are a perfect couple and always will be.

I saw Misty briefly at church tonight, but she didn’t speak to me.  I haven’t seen her since July when she gave me all those poems.  Here’s the first one:

I wish I was dead

I wish I was never born

I hope I didn’t lose you as a friend

I hope you don’t hate me

Hmm.  It doesn’t even rhyme.  Misty’s life has been hell.  Her dad died when she was eight and several of her friends have died either by suicide or someone shot them over a baseball cap.  She’s been rejected and she needs love.  I tried to care for her over the summer, but she became addicted to me.  I was so afraid she would kill herself if she knew I had zero romantic feelings for her, and I was just trying to show her God’s love.

Crazy thing is, that whole ordeal with Misty got Ryan and I talking a lot over the summer.  Ryan and Misty know each other from school, so Ryan would always want me to call her any time Misty called me saying she wanted to kill herself.

How can a 14-year-old know so much pain?

Here’s another poem from Misty:

I have so much inside me

And I have so much to give

I just need that special person

Someone for whom to live

I lie in bed at night wondering

Who will it be?

I wish I could look into the future

And be able to see

I wonder what he will be like

I wonder how he will look

I feel as if there are so many

Unread pages in my very big life book.

I guess I will just have to wait

For my future to come by

But until then I’ll keep

Dreaming with a hopeful look

In my eyes.

I can’t help but think of The Phantom of the Opera.  Misty is a pitiful creature of darkness.  What kind of life has she known?  Oh God, give me the courage to show her she is not alone.

Ryan told me tonight that Misty still calls her all the time and all they talk about is me.  I wonder if Ryan likes talking to Misty about me?  I know I would like talking to anyone about her.

August 24, 1993 – Tuesday – 9:47 p.m.

178 days left of school!

I’m excited.

The day went fine.  In Spanish II, Mr. Benton asked me if I liked the winter.  He said it in Spanish, of course.

I said, “Si, me gusta invierno.”

He said, “Por que?”

I said, “Me gusta chocolate caliente.”

He laughed so hard and shared what I said with the whole class.  Then the whole class died laughing.  I didn’t think it was that funny, but I was glad it happened.

Once I got home I slept for an hour, then I did my homework and Grandma and Grandpa drove down.  After a bite to eat at McDonald’s, we went to visit Aunt Sis.  She lives a few hundred feet from where I used to live.  She is my mom’s mom’s sister and her husband died a few years ago.  They had a few children, including Cynthia who married a guy named Murphy who laughs like an old man sneezing.  They have three boys: Lebaron, Nick, and Ethan.

Lebaron and I used to be good friends.  He is 13 now.  I haven’t seen him in a long time.

Bruce, Cynthia’s brother, married a woman name Lavern and they have at least one girl named April.  They just moved here a few weeks ago.  They are living in a trailer behind the house where we used to live.  I saw April at school today.  She is a sophomore.

They were all over there at Aunt Sis’s tonight.  Murphy and Nick came over.  Boy, are they some country redneck folks.

Several, several years down the road, I will travel with my wife and stay the night in my kid’s house and visit with family I rarely see, just like my Grandparents did tonight.  And we will spend the hours talking about everything and nothing.  But I’m in no rush to get to that stage of life.

The other day, I found a journal that Kevin had to keep in the 6th grade for school.  I found this entry:

March 10, 1987

MY DAD

My dad is coming today to pick me up from school because we are going to Greensboro.  My mom and my dad are divorced.  My dad loves my mom, but she doesn’t love him.  My mom has remarried, but my dad still loves her.

Wow.  Kevin was in the 6th grade and he didn’t understand the complexities of love.  This sure puts Veronica in perspective.  I feel so foolish.  “Muy Tonto.”

Into the Woods came on PBS last night.  I remember watching that with Jason and Christi at their house.  We ate fried bologna and banana sandwiches.  Good memories.

I got my pictures from the zoo back yesterday.  I’ll take them to church tomorrow.  After tomorrow, I won’t see Anne for a long time.  She is so sweet.

Okay, I think I did it.  I think I made it through a journal entry without mentioning Ryan.

Agh!  I just did.  Oh well.  At least I tried.

August 23, 1993 – Monday – 4:48 p.m.

My senior year of high school started today, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

Yesterday was sort of depressing.  Henry got onto me about all this stuff.  I put up with it again.  Just one more year of him.

Church was great in the morning.  My and Ryan’s skit went great.  She looked so beautiful.  At night, we had a guest speaker named Duke.  He was super funny, but very motivating.  Jason is back and he was laughing so much.  And guess what, he forgot to edit my book, Eagle’s Path.  He didn’t even read it!  I was disappointed, but it was at least good to get it back.

School went fine.  My schedule for the first semester is Computer Applications, World Geography, Art III, and Spanish II.  The periods are 90 minutes long.  Everything went fine, but boy am I tired.

My summer is over.

The summer of ’93 is no more.

A year ago as I entered my junior year, I was practically in the same position that I am now.  Some stuff has changed, but not much.

I liked Ryan a year ago, and I still do now, only much more.  I started writing My Book of Days in November of ’92.  That doesn’t seem like a long time ago.

I just put in the CATS tape that Christi made for me.

Daylight
See the dew on a sunflower
And a rose that is fading
Roses wither away
Like the sunflower, I yearn to turn my face to the dawn
I am waiting for the day

Memory
Turn your face to the moonlight
Let your memory lead you
Open up, enter in
If you find there the meaning of what happiness is
Then a new life will begin

Memory
All alone in the moonlight
I can smile at the old days
I was beautiful then
I remember a time I knew what happiness was
Let the memory live again

Burnt out ends of smokey days
The stale cold smell of morning
A streetlamp dies – another night is over
Another day is dawning

Daylight
I must wait for the sunrise
I must think of a new life
And I mustn’t give in
When the dawn comes, tonight will be a memory too
And a new day will begin

Sunlight through the trees in summer
Endless masquerading
Like a flower as the dawning is breaking
The memory is fading

Touch me
It’s so easy to leave me
All alone with a memory
Of my days in the sun
If you touch me, you’ll understand what happiness is
Look, a new day has begun

Memory, my only connection to the past 17 years of my life.  The earlier years have faded away. But these recent years, the years to come…I’m writing them down to preserve them forever.

For anyone out there in the future reading this, please listen to me. You have to do what I say. Take one day at a time and be thankful for the simple joys in life. You can never go wrong when you take pleasure in the smile on a girl’s face.

This year is going to fly by, then another great summer, and then…boom!  I’ll be out there. I’ll live my life for Jesus and then I’ll be free!

August 21, 1993 – Saturday – 11:05 p.m.

This morning I went to singing practice and, of course, Marcus went with me.  Kevin left for college this morning.  It hasn’t hit me that he’s gone, yet.

Then we went shopping and left for Wendy’s house where we were going to make our senior T-shirts for school.  After a very long time of driving around parts of the state I’ve never been, I finally found her house.  Since I go to church in the next county over, I don’t go to school with any of my church friends, and vice versa.  I haven’t seen any of these people all summer.  It was good to see everybody.

Then we left for Ryan’s house.  We met later in the day since skit group was cancelled for no reason at all.  Christi couldn’t make it so Ryan and I worked, while the two of us plus Marcus talked about everything under the sun.  We all went to youth group, and it was so great.  I learned a whole lot.

Andy was there and we talked about writing and stuff.  Then Marcus and I talked and dreamed about the world’s two greatest girls:  Ryan and Christi.

Guess what?  Marcus likes Christi.  It didn’t bother me.  I mean, Christi is still a great person to me and all, but nothing beyond that.  I don’t feel for her the way I feel for Ryan.

Marcus said her and I talked and joked around like we were a couple tonight and it shocked him.  He thought we might have a secret relationship going on that nobody knows about.

The day was great.  A lot more happened that is simply too wonderful to write about here.

Just the simple stuff.  Looks, words, smiles, eyes, etc., etc.  All the things that make life worth living.

I shall go to bed thanking the Lord for the great new memories that I will cherish forever.